DTI seeks to destroy Astra accounting records

Gerald James, former chairman at Astra, told Accountancy Age that the documents in the archive of 2,600 boxes may be crucial to an appeal he may launch at the European Court of Human Rights.

James’ appeal against expulsion from the profession was thrown out by the Joint Disciplinary Scheme last week. He had been found responsible for falsely creating an invoice of almost £240,000 in a bid to make up a shortfall in profits prior to obtaining a listing on the stock market for Astra.

The DTI confirmed that an application had been made to destroy the archive and that a hearing would take place on 11 July.

Killing Secrets, a campaign group for a transparent arms trade, has also said the documents should be saved.

Rae McGrath, a campaigner at the group, said: ‘This government came to power with a commitment to a transparent and responsible arms export policy.

It would be a final abandonment of that promise if the Astra records were destroyed behind a pretext of normal bureaucratic procedure.’

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